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Jonah Heim and Taylor Hearn highlight July’s Rangers’ awards

Well, Rangers fans, July is over, and now August is here. Fifty-eight games remain to close out the 2021 season, and July became a tough month to swallow. Not only did the club finish 6-18 last month, but they also lost three of their best players. Ian Kennedy, Kyle Gibson, and Joey Gallo start August wearing different uniforms as the Rangers continue their rebuild process. I’ll be honest, guys, some of the regular categories were tough to choose. So here we are, closing a book on July 2021 and possibly the month that changed the Rangers’ franchise?

Player of the Month – (Taylor Hearn)

Taylor Hearn had a quiet, but a great month of July. Yes, I get he only pitched in eight games and 15.2 innings (two starts), but they were quality innings. After this start Saturday, Hearn finished with an ERA of about 0.57 allowing three runs (two on a Kyle Seager home run Saturday that were unearned). What made his last start even better is that he only walked one batter in the fourteen hitters faced.

His 52 pitches was the longest outing among pitches and the longest regarding innings as the Rangers decide if Taylor is a starter. I think based on his last two short starts, he’s earned to get a consistent shot in the rotation. “Physically, I feel really good,” Taylor told me after Saturday’s game. “[I’m] Incorporat[ing] all of the things I did as a reliever to my starter routine. Mentally I’m preparing to be coming out of the pen again until they tell me otherwise.” He also received a first pitch from now Mavericks’ head coach Jason Kidd, so that’s pretty neat too.

Play of the Month – (Eli White 7/22 at DET)

Look, Joey Gallo had a lot of outfield assists, so assume I put that there. However, I do want to highlight a fantastic catch by Eli White on July 22nd in Detroit. I’m always excited to see Eli White’s capabilities in the outfield and why the club touts him as one of the most athletic on the roster, and he’s showing it on display.

Game of the Month – (July 31 vs SEA)

Guys, Jonah Heim, made me switch to this game immediately. Saturday’s victory over the Seattle Mariners was huge for several reasons. First, the ballclub knows the circumstances. They know that the season hasn’t been great. However, they came out against a playoff-fighting team in Seattle and went toe-to-toe with a couple of up-and-coming pitchers (Taylor Hearn, Drew Anderson, and Joe Barlow). Second, it’s a game where the offense went nine up and nine down, but the Rangers found a little offense. Heim homered in the fifth and then ended things in the tenth inning.

The defense also had a fantastic showing too with a couple of great Eli White plays, Adolis García played a good right field, and the infield turned a screamer line drive to a double play. It’s almost like Joey Gallo’s defensive aura was at the ballpark Saturday. “We got to see Joey for a while and to see his impact and see these guys carry on that mentality is great,” Chris Woodward told me. Despite Spencer Patton giving up the tying run in the ninth, he limited the tenth inning damage to one run (one pitch from a scoreless). Finally, Jonah Heim says, I’m done and finishes the night off. It was a spirited win Saturday.

Quote of the Month – (Kyle Gibson 7/30)

I usually pick out a funny or humorous quote to make you guys laugh(like Brock Holt’s mustache comment). However, with how the week went, it was necessary to give a shout to former Ranger pitcher Kyle Gibson. Fans loved Gibson, and the appreciation was mutual. I talked to Gibby on Friday and he had a lot of praise for the Rangers’ faithful.

Fan of the Month – (On the field fan 7/6 vs DET’)

For the second time this year, the Rangers witness a fan running onto the field. It was fun to watch for a minute, and that’s it. Sports Radio 96.7/1310 the Ticket interviewed the fan the day after it happened. There’s wasn’t much excitement that happened overall. Although it came to an interesting anecdote from Emily Jones.

Reaction of the Month –  (Nathaniel Lowe 7/20 at DET)

When you go thirty-six innings out of the break scoring two runs and twenty-seven straight without scoring a run, this reaction warrants. You can see an absolute giddy Nathaniel Lowe saying, “We scored!” Eight months into Lowe’s Rangers’ career, Nathaniel earns the year award for best reaction and photo-bomb. You guys may have to help me decide which is better.

Feel Good Story of the Month – (Jonah Heim Goes Back to Buffalo 7/16-7/18 at TOR)

One of Hannah Montana’s top songs, “One in a Million,” came to me when the Rangers traveled to Buffalo. Sure, the song itself is about a relationship, but you could insert that when it comes to Jonah’s relationship with the city. Either way, it was excellent for the Buffalo kid to come back and play a Major League game at Sahlen Field. Honestly, it was the only positive thing that happened that weekend (aside from an Eli White home run). Hearing Jonah’s reaction and that smile on his face warm any Rangers’ fan heart, and it certainly was an unforgettable weekend for the Heim family.

As for the actual baseball, Jonah Heim never got it. “I don’t know where it is,” Heim told me Saturday. “I never got a ball. I may have snuck one in my bag.” However, I’m sure his family got many baseballs that weekend and a group photo. However, he did get his walk-off home run baseball, one for two is still a good average.

Cowboy Hat of the Month – (Spencer Patton 7/9 vs OAK)

This category sets up for those who wore “THE” Cowboy Hat the best. If we’re going by those circumstances, only six guys wore the hat. Out of those six, three were first-time winners (David Dahl, John Hicks, and Spencer Patton). I’m giving the award to Spencer Patton because I have to represent the ginger nation. Spencer Patton became the first ginger Ranger to wear “THE” hat (If Sam Huff comes up later in the year, he may have something to say about that).

On the other hand, I have to mention Charlie Culberson and Brock Holt, who sported their own Cowboy hats the Saturday before the break. Charlie said they both finally received the shipping and wore it that day because they wanted to. I can’t argue with that logic, and hey, you’re looking at two veterans who sport out Cowboy hats nicely.

Team Pic of the Month – (July 4 trip back to Arlington)

After the Rangers’ loss to Seattle on July fourth, Kyle Gibson posted a team photo on his social media. It’s a great photo, and I want to sincerely apologize to Taylor Hearn for calling him out for not paying attention. Gibby even posted a follow-up stating Hearn WAS paying attention, but a wrong place/wrong time photo. Also, Rangers-catching coordinator Bobby Wilson dominated the picture and went all out.

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Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor’s in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX


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